by Chris Hunt
The hard-charging Hopewell boys basketball team just missed a winning season after losing in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs to West Mecklenburg, 78-51. The Titans won five of their last six league games to earn the fifth seed out of the I-MECK 4A conference and finished with a 12-13 mark, 7-7 in league play. Hopewell captured a first-round victory, defeating the No. 1 seed from the Southern Carolina 3A/4A conference, Indian Trail Sun Valley, 61-41. Six Titans completed their senior basketball seasons, including leading scorer and rebounder Elliot Pope and three-sport star Michael Russell.